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Old 12-01-18, 03:38 PM
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veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

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The best thing to do is go to your local shop and test ride some bikes and find the right fit. Easiest thing to do and a lot of fun. If you are dead set on conversion and have no interest in a dedicated platform I would suggest looking for an old quality steel frame with semi-horizontal dropouts or even better actual track ends. Look for a good straight frame that doesn't have any internal rust (external rust can be dealt with but if it goes inside that is bad) Ideally try and find something that has a BSA threaded BB as it is easiest to find BBs for that these days but you can still get swiss and french threads from Phil Wood (they also have other old threads like Chater Lea), IRD and Velo Orange (at least french) and Italian is still fairly easy to find but it might limit some crank choices. Make sure nothing is seized in the frame because that can be a pain to get out and can sometimes be more trouble than it is worth. Old steel frames can be stretched to 130 spacing at the rear pretty easily from 126 but if the frame is already 120 you are good to go as most track hubs and frames are 120mm. Carbon cannot do this and aluminum is iffy.

When looking for components look for sealed cartridge bearings on things like hubs and bottom brackets and headsets to make your life easier. If you are racing track and using the bike only for that or are really keen on maintenance loose ball stuff is great because it can be faster but easier for grit, grime and water to ingress and you will want to regrease more often but for racing you can use minimal grease or really thin stuff to have less friction. Generally for chainrings and cogs, the higher quality stuff is going to run a lot quieter and smoother and have a lot better teeth profiles to better engage the chain some of them will be coated with Titanium Nitride or something similar to make it smoother with less friction. There is plenty of cheap stuff out there but if you are looking to save money in the long run get mid range or higher end stuff and you will likely have that longer. If you are running a bike fixed you will want some good foot retention. I prefer a clipless pedal and shoe usually SPD so I have walkability. I hate toe clips and straps just because it can be difficult especially when used as intended to get your foot out. One final note on bars, don't go super short you want something wide enough so you can breathe easily, don't be constricted and also lose out on leverage.




@bassboy1126: You forgot the tons of other great steel 4130 is generally the generic name for stuff but Reynolds, True Temper (R.I.P.) Tange, Columbus, Ishiwata... makes all sorts of other great steels and some frames have a mix of different tubes to tune the ride. Many custom builders use a variety of tubes even from different manufacturers to get the bike they are looking for or one that will work best for the client. The best steel frames are ones that are customized to you using whatever tubes the builder chooses generally. Yes something like 853 or S3 tubing might be among the lightest but a frame made purely of that might not give the right ride quality you need for what you are doing. However yes 725 is a fine steel but then again most of what Reynolds has done has been excellent though I would say 531 is the iconic tubing that probably has graced more bikes than most (at least from a non-generic standpoint, I am sure hi-tensile steel would win overall) so it would probably have to win on that point. Either them or something from Columbus Tubi.
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